A Hamburger Today
Brooklyn: Everything On The Menu at Best Pizza
33 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn NY 11211 (North 7th/North 8th streets; map); 718-599-2210; best.piz.za.com
Getting there: Closest train station is Bedford Avenue L train
Pizza style: New York–style in form, though with an added layer of smokiness from a wood-fired oven
Oven type: Wood-fired oven cooks the pizza, with reheats done in a small gas-fired oven
The skinny: Excellent New York–style with a wood-fired twist, great garlic knots, and three of the best sandwiches in town
Price: Regular slice, $3; white slice, $3.50; grandma slice, $4
Opened just over a year ago, Best Pizza has fast become one of our favorite pizzerias in New York, and yeah, it's mostly because they serve some of the tastiest by-the-slice stuff around. Baked in a wood-fired brick oven, you wouldn't exactly call this classic New York in execution, but it certainly is in spirit. Though Adam categorized it as a cross between a New York and a Neapolitan-American pie in his initial review of the space last year, I think it sways pretty strongly towards the New York end of the spectrum.
It certainly eats like one, with a thin, crisp crust with a hint of chew and plenty of pliancy, a light sprinkle of grated aged mozzarella and pecorino Romano, and a bright, fresh tomato sauce binding it all together. But then you're hit by that subtle but characteristic veil of smokiness that a wood-fired oven imparts on a Neapolitan slice.
Backed by the folks at Roberta's and Brooklyn Star, Best Pizza's Frank Pinello is a Brooklyn boy through and through. He manages to take his craft extraordinarily seriously without any airs of fancy-pantsness.
Since opening the shop, the menu has expanded ever-so-slightly to include sandwiches and a single salad. But man, oh man what good sandwiches those are.
If the meatball sub that Adam wrote about and that was served at our Sandwich Fest last summer got your juices flowing, just wait until you try their Chicken Parm ($9, chicken fried to order!) or their Italian Sub ($9, and IMHO, the best one on the menu).
I brought half a cold cut sandwich out to pieman Paulie Gee at his Greenpoint pizzeria. A self-proclaimed sandwich-ambivalent man, he seemed to have no problem scarfing it down with plenty of praise after reheating it in his wood fired oven.
You heard it folks: the master of flavors himself gives it his stamp of approval.
With so many good things offered there these days, we felt it was only right to head out and order everything on the menu, which is exactly what we did. Check out all the pictures in the slideshow at the top and let the drooling begin.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.